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Howard University

April 3-4 2009


The 7th International Conference of the Igbo Studies Association on the theme: Omenala Igbo: Igbo Language and Culture: Towards renewal and new Frontiers was held at Howard University Washington DC, USA, the 3rd and 4th of April, 2009.

The participants included scholars from universities and tertiary institutions and leaders from community organizations, media personnel, clergy/religious, and professionals from the United States, Nigeria, and Europe. The Conference addressed different aspects of Igbo Culture within the context of the conference theme.

The Conference noted:

The systematic decline of Igbo language as a vehicle of cultural expression and transmission.
The dire need to encourage the development and preservation of the Igbo language, to stave off extinction of both Igbo culture and civilization.
That institutions of socialization and acculturation like the family, schools and religious organizations need to be mobilized to develop and transmit values that drive progress in the area of language acquisition.
That to cohere as a group and ward off threatened extinction of Igbo culture, that Igbos institutionalize practices and values that celebrate our common kinship regardless of prevailing political arrangements.
The decline of the culture promotes crime, youth delinquency, corruption, community instability, and social decadence.
In the light of the above, the conference called for:

The establishment of an endowment fund to establish a Center for Igbo Studies at a US university, which shall engage in the development and advancement of Igbo studies scholarship in all its ramifications.
The establishment of closer links among scholars of Igbo Studies in different parts of the world.
Support of the bill by the Anambara State legislature to require Igbo language programs and proficiency in educational institutions in the state and to encourage other legislatures in Igboland to adopt a similar legislation.
Mandate the teaching of Igbo language at all levels of education—kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Encourage attempts by Igbo scholars to publish Igbo-related studies and research and disseminate same world-wide.
Establishment of Igbo Cultural Centers to provide opportunities for young Igbo persons to immerse themselves in Igbo Culture and language.
Support for the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia and commendation for its proposed landmark Igbo Village and Igbo language/culture immersion program.
Repudiation of the obnoxious cultural practice of osu and all caste systems still prevalent in some parts of Ala Igbo.
Resolved to create and foster greater linkage with African American community many of whom are of Igbo heritage
Condemnation of any form of violence directed at Igbo religious artifacts, material culture, and traditional people.
We also

Congratulate the ISA on its 10th Anniversary having been founded in 1999.
Recognize the contributions of the immediate past executives of the Igbo Studies Association—Prof Nkiru Nzegwu (Chair), Prof Anthonia Kalu (Secretary), and Prof Gloria Chuku (Treasurer) and express our profound gratitude for their selfless service and leadership of the ISA
Congratulate the incoming executives of the ISA: Prof Ernest Uwazie (Chair), Prof Chima Korieh (Secretary), and Prof Phanuel Egejuru (Treasurer) who were elected and sworn in during the ISA business meeting held on April 4, 2009.
Resolved to continue to identify with the goals of the ongoing First Festival on Igbo Civilization and congratulate all those responsible for the planning, execution and funding of the various activities concerning the Festival.
Remembered and paid tribute to our fallen giants (oke osisi) Prof. Ogbu U. Kalu and Prof Adiele E. Afigbo who joined our ancestors.
Resolved that the theme for our 2010 International Conference will be “Nigeria at 50: The Igbo Experience,” with Prof Apollos Nwauwa as Conference Chair.
Finally the participants express their gratitude to Howard University, Washington, DC, its continued support of Igbo Studies Association and for hosting the 7th International Conference of the Igbo Studies Association.

SIGNED: Conference Planning Committee:
Prof. Ernest Uwazie, Chair
Prof. Mike Mbanaso
Prof. Chima Korieh
Dr. Kanayo Odeluga
Dr. Chris Aniedobe